DNS - The Exam
I want to take this opportunity to talk about the DNS exam or dynamic neuromuscular stabilization. DNS is something that we use often here in the clinic, and we actually have four certified physicians, including myself and Dr. Meyer. But if we talk about the overarching theme of the DNS exam, we’re looking at human function and how we move about the environment. So, what are some ways that we might look at this?
Yeah. So, we might start off with some basics. We might look at just to see how you bend over to pick up something. It might be how you squat, how you’re sitting, your posture. Just a lot of the basic things that you do in day-to-day life, we just want to look at that and see, like, how does it look.
Right. So, we can definitely be using some, what we would call, activities of daily living, like you said, picking something up off the floor. When we go and study in Prague to become certified for this, there’s also specific positions that we may use. So, if you guys go and watch our video on ‘what is DNS,’ it’s based off of the neuro-developmental sequence. How we learn to move over the first year, 16 months, 18 months of our lifespan. So, we can use some of these specific positions. One being something we call ‘three months supine’ where we’re laying on our back, we raise the legs up. We call it ‘three months supine’ because that’s what the actual infant is going to achieve at about that time. And what we’re doing is just the global strategy, how well are you stabilizing your spine? What’s the tone and tension in the tissues? And, through this DNS lens, we can begin to say, okay, maybe they’re not stabilizing too well through the midline. And then, that may guide our treatment a little bit. Or if we look at some actions of the hips in that maneuver, okay, well, maybe that right hip is not stabilizing efficiently.
Yeah. And that goes along the lines, like, one of the main things that we’re looking for or trying to achieve is called joint centration. That’s a term that comes from DNS. And really, to sum up joint centration, it’s essentially, we are looking for maximal contact of the bones together. And around those two bones being together, we’re looking for efficient synergy between all of the muscles around that joint so it holds in place properly.
Yeah. And oftentimes, when you go into an orthopedic office, whether it’s chiropractic, physical therapy, some of the common examination procedures people will do what will be things like orthopedic tests to see if there’s some kind of structure at play, or some kind of structure that’s been damaged. Things like range of motion strength, oftentimes. What DNS does is it encompasses all these things. And I don’t care what exam it is that we’re using, we can look at it through this DNS lens to say, “Are they doing this maneuver, whatever it is, with the appropriate strategy, tone and tension in the tissue, and can they express this in a nice fluid manner?” So, as we look at human movement through this lens, we can begin to decipher what joints are at play, what strategies may be falling apart that we need to address within the treatment. And it just gives us, basically, a roadmap in looking at human function. So, for us, it’s the underlying, I would say, ‘why’ behind how we function as human beings.
Yeah. An example of that might be — we were talking about this earlier — would be, let’s say, someone’s squatting and you just have excessive lower back tension. In our world, we would call that an extension compression stabilizing strategy. A lot of words, but essentially, you’re over-recruiting the muscles of your back to do the movement. And so, we might try to help you retool that movement and feel it differently, and try to have a balance between your low back muscles along with your core muscles, your diaphragm, your pelvic floor, all the muscles that are important for that movement.
Absolutely. If you want to learn a little bit more about the exam itself, reach out to us. You can schedule a discovery call even with myself or Dr. Meyer to talk a little bit more about how this may help you. If you want to learn more about the treatment itself, watch our video, our DNS video on treatment to learn a little bit more about that. We’re always happy to talk to you guys more if you want more information on topics such as this, so be sure to reach out. And have a good day.
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